1. make appointments
2. fewer crowds on weekdays
3. know what styles are in – a lot of retailers ONLY carry the latest styles
4. know your measurements
5. get final pricing in writing
6. if your clothes won’t be ready for a few days or weeks – periodically check in
7. *if getting wedding party clothes – be prepared and firm about sizes
8. provide typed – not handwritten info: this applies to measurements, shipping addresses, invitation text, instructions. The potential for error is SO much higher with handwritten vs. typed info. shipping.
*One bride shared that the tailor in India didn’t believe someone could be that broad-shouldered and took it upon himself to make a groomsman’s kurta smaller, despite having given him correct measurements. They had to scramble last minute because the kurta didn’t fit him.
9. Ask questions and read between the lines. Especially when shopping in India/South Asia. South Asian cultures are ‘yes’ cultures. In other words, it is common for shopkeepers to make a lot of promises, agree to requests, and make claims they know they can’t fulfill. In Eastern cultures, saying no to a customer is considered disrespectful and the person no,thinks it makes them personally and the company look bad.
Coming from the US, Canada, Aus, NZ, UK etc. we consider it quite the opposite. We see it as being upfront and honest.
In eastern culture, “yes” only means “yes” when it’s said without hesitation. Be wary of quick-thoughtless responses, over-assurance, no eye-contact, and pushiness.
What can you do? Avoid asking closed questions that force them to say ‘no’.
Going shopping in India this December? Expect:
- the best inventory
- highest prices
- biggest crowds
- least negotiating power
- less attention from customer reps
The same applies during major holiday seasons: Diwali, Eid etc.
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Cover Photo: Story Motion
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